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What’s up with Celebrity Service?


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My wife and I are currently on Millennium and there is no wait staff at the bars to take orders at your seat. Also only one or two bartenders at the bars. This is our first Celebrity cruise. Is this the norm?  If so, not good at all. 

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We're booked for our first Celebrity Cruise in Japan next year on the Millennium... Has it improved over the duration of the cruise or has it been pretty consistent with regards to a low volume of wait staff? We had read some really good things about the crew on Millennium over on Cruise Critic so I'm a little sad to hear this.

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I have been on the Millennium, Reflection and the service made me want to come back.  I was on a B2B on the Beyond and the wait staff in the bars was lacking.  The bar tenders were in good supply and fantistic.  The wait staff in the buffet was also great and always ready to give me everything I needed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just back from Celebrity Reflection

Bar service - almost non-existent unless you went up to the bar and spoke to the bartenders directly. Most frequent roving server location was Cafe al Bacio - a few cocktails available but mostly for your specialty coffee.

MDR service - painfully slow. I think our waiter was overwhelmed by our group of 12, because a nearby waiter handled his 8-top and three 4-tops much better than our service. Finish off you glass of water? Good luck getting it refilled any time soon. Get close to the bottom of your wine glass? Sommelier Yarmi filled you right up in a heartbeat.

Oceanview Cafe (buffet) service - I was NEVER offered coffee or a cold drink while seated. The only roving beverage service was bar service, and that was sporadic at best.

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28 minutes ago, HeWhoWaits said:

Just back from Celebrity Reflection

Bar service - almost non-existent unless you went up to the bar and spoke to the bartenders directly. Most frequent roving server location was Cafe al Bacio - a few cocktails available but mostly for your specialty coffee.

MDR service - painfully slow. I think our waiter was overwhelmed by our group of 12, because a nearby waiter handled his 8-top and three 4-tops much better than our service. Finish off you glass of water? Good luck getting it refilled any time soon. Get close to the bottom of your wine glass? Sommelier Yarmi filled you right up in a heartbeat.

Oceanview Cafe (buffet) service - I was NEVER offered coffee or a cold drink while seated. The only roving beverage service was bar service, and that was sporadic at best.

This is maybe the third post I have read recently describing slow or non-existent bar service on X.  I guess this is a fleet-wide phenomenon ?

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We just got off Summit for the Inaugural Chris Botti At Sea Jazz Cruise this past Thursday. Once again, the service was excellent….at the bars(especially the Martini Bar), in the Oceanview, in the Main Dining Room, Specialty restaurants. The Retreat Lounge and Sundeck also had outstanding service. Now our only complaint was that our stateroom attendant, for some unknown reason, kept forgetting to leave washcloths in our cabin. Why I ask you, did he repeatedly forget that one item? Who knows but it wasn’t the end of the world, in the whole scheme of things. So not quite sure what went on on the Reflection but it’s too bad you had such a disappointing experience. 

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20 hours ago, WAAAYTOOO said:

This is maybe the third post I have read recently describing slow or non-existent bar service on X.  I guess this is a fleet-wide phenomenon ?

Was on the Eclipse in November and did not experience this.  We had really good service especially in the MDR, Oceanview and on the main pool deck.    The service was a bit more spotty on other outside decks and in the theatre (but they had tables at the entrance of the theatre you could get most basic drinks).

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  • 2 weeks later...

It seems both RCL and Celebrity are trying to maximize profit with all these small changes. Just recently watched a video were two cruisers on a Celebrity cruise tried to get a drink at every bar (can't remember the ship) doing a kind of bar crawl. They had the classic drink package which caps at $10 they only found one cocktail on the whole ship that fit the $10 cap aside from a few wines and beers. The reality is that they make a killing on drinks, most likely the largest profit margin on a cruise ship. If you think of the cost of a bottle of liquor even at retail pricing which I'm sure the cruise lines get a pretty good discount due to the amount they purchase it only takes about two drinks to break even and the rest is profit. I'm ok with them making a decent profit but at some point it becomes price gouging. It's disappointing that you buy a drink package and wind up with a bar tab at the end of the cruise because almost all the of drinks are more than $10 typically $12>. From a business stand point they see this as maximizing profit but the reality is they may be shooting themselves in the foot. This is a kind of bait and switch tactic and as more cruisers realize that they aren't getting much for their drink package they may op out of buying a package at all.

We're sailing on Apex in May for a transatlantic sailing, we upgraded to the premium package hopefully that isn't a bait and switch package also. Also hoping service will be better than RCL as it should be for a higher priced cruise line. We'll see.

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22 hours ago, Bmac said:

We're sailing on Apex in May for a transatlantic sailing, we upgraded to the premium package hopefully that isn't a bait and switch package also.

We had the premium package last month on Reflection. There were a few drinks that weren't fully covered by the $17 limit, but those were the fancy drinks at World Class Bar and premium wines by the glass.

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Just had 9 days on Constellation, have to say the service was excellent. First night MTD was a mess but other than that all was good. Lots of waiters around serving drinks, didn't wait too long when at a bar. We loved it and have to say with Royal's move to shorter sailings on larger ships we'll be spending more time on Celebrity ships.

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  • 2 months later...

I am worried about Celebrity.  They have new management and I have been hearing bad things (changes).  I have spent 3 months trying to find a cruise to go on solo and it does not exist.  They have changed their pricing structure to convince solo cruisers not to go on Celebrity.  They are charging us over double the price.  It is cheaper to take someone with you.  

With less staff on the ship and charging extra for everything it seems someone in management has strange ideas of how to make money.  it is not great service and have lots of people cruise.

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On 2/1/2024 at 12:01 AM, RoyalGreek said:

My wife and I are currently on Millennium and there is no wait staff at the bars to take orders at your seat. Also only one or two bartenders at the bars. This is our first Celebrity cruise. Is this the norm?  If so, not good at all. 

Still see staffing shortages.   Initially due to labor pool shortages, now some of it is deliberate.   Trying to do more with less and it isn't working - its demonstrably less.

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